'Forcing the Lebanese Back to Dialogue.' Hezbollah's Role in the May 2008 Beirut Clashes Analysed From a State-Building Perspective
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The thesis investigates the the causes, triggers and contexts of the violent clashes between government and opposition supporters in Beirut in May 2008. It specifically focuses on the role Hezbollah played in this event, concluding that Hezbollah did not stage a coup d'etat (i.e. taking over the state by bypassing the political system), as often suggested, but rather created a situation in which it could maximize its influence on the state through the political system. This idea is explored and explained further throughout the thesis by placing the May 2008 Beirut clashes in the context of Lebanon's state and the history of the formation of this state and by analysing Hezbollah's position towards and within the Lebanese state.